10 Tips to Help You Date Safely

Online dating is a part of everyday life for millions of people: At the least, there are 7 million people who are active in online dating at any one time. Over a quarter of people now meet new partners on dating sites. Three-quarters of those are ready to meet with someone from a dating site and are looking for a serious relationship. However, you should always be giving thought to how to stay safe on a dating app. Here are some tips to help you date safely: 1. Do your research If you are interested in meeting up with a particular person, do a little bit of research into them first. Putting their names into search engines and other social media sites should help give you a little more insight into their lives. If you uncover anything shady, it isn’t too late to bail! Don’t think of this step as stalking but rather as “research.” 2. Don’t share personal details If you’re talking to someone you’ve contacted online, be careful not to share your personal information. In your profile, don’t include your last name, email address, home address, phone number, place of work or any other identifying information. If you handover these details, you could be at risk of identity theft. 3. Video chat first Nowadays, there should be absolutely no reason why your date is not prepared to video chat before the initial meeting goes ahead. Doing so will give you an opportunity to make sure this person is who they say they are. Video chat also allows you to get to know each other and see if the spark is still there when speaking face to face. 4. Tell your friends about the online relationship Tell at least one person in your life where you are going and who with. You can also check in with them to let them know everything is OK. 5. Meet in a public place where people are around The first time you meet this person in real life should be in a public location like a coffee shop or restaurant. It doesn’t matter how long you have spoken to them, it’s a basic safety precaution and should be followed when you are dating people you have met online. If things go well, you can go to a hotel/their place/your place after a few dates but only after you feel more comfortable with this person. 6. Dress appropriately If you’re seeking long-term romance, leave the super-sexy outfit in your closet. Yes, you want to make sure the other person finds you attractive, but sending an overtly sexual message may scare a serious suitor away, as that suitor might think you are only interested in a hookup. Of course, if you’re meeting solely for sex, feel free to display your assets. 7. Use your own transportation to get to and from the date Just imagine how bad it is when you are in a stranger's car. You absolutely can't control anything when you've already inside (of course I'm not talking about Uber). It’s even worse when you let your date pick you up because he may know your address. So it's much better if you use your own transportation or public vehicles. 8. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. People can create dream personas online. If your virtual date is a model-slash-anything, boasts about their huge luxury yacht and claims to have invented a billion-selling app, they’re probably lying. If anything sounds strange or unbelievable, ask questions. If the person is defensive, you’re likely on to something. 9. Beware of moving too fast Beware of premature declarations of love or requests for sexy photos from your online crush. Don’t fall too fast for someone you’ve never met. You don’t know who you’re actually falling for. 10. Leave at any time you feel uncomfortable. Just remember your safety comes first. Be courageous enough to leave the table when the respect is no longer being served. Millions of people find love and happiness by using online dating. We hope you will too.Collected by Reid

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